The Zillos thought the house was lovely and the neighborhood was lovely. The first day they moved in the neighbors came knocking on the door with well wishes, introductions, and lots of food in well organized baskets made of wicker.
They were excited when they were asked to come to a neighborhood barbeque at one of their new neighbor’s home.
“We can’t wait,” Bill Zillo said on the phone to the invite.
He told his wife Betty, son Bill jr., and daughter Sarah about the invite.
“Sounds nice,” Betty said. “Can you help me get the kids ready?”
Bill jr. was only a year old and his older sister Sarah was three. They were precocious little children and the parents were often embarrassed that the children were often viewed by others as a pain in the ass.
In no time, it seemed, the Zillo family found themselves at the home of the Connors. The yard was well groomed as if it was from the pages of Home and Garden Magazine. It was large and it seemed as though the whole neighborhood was there in the yard.
“Welcome Bill, Betty, kids,” John Connor said as the Zillo family came through the gate to the backyard.
Everyone welcomed the Zillos to the event. The new family to the neighborhood were amazed at how friendly the people were. In most neighborhoods they had lived in people tended to keep to themselves and often didn’t even know their neighbors names. This was a huge change from the average American town.
Bill noticed the four barbeques across the back of the house. He thought that was terrific since there were so many people there. The people were all pitching in to help make sure there was enough to go around.
“I Must say, there is an amazing amount of community spirit here,” Bill said.
“Oh yes, there has always been a lot of spirit in this community,” John Connor said. “We really know how to keep it within the community.” He smiled at Bill.
Bill thought that last turn of phrase seemed odd. But, he shrugged off any feeling of negativity in light of how nice everyone had been.
He looked around the yard, everyone was having a nice time in conversation and friendship, including Betty. The children were being entertained in the play area. There were swings, slides, and a large sandbox, where Bill jr. seemed to be having the time of his life.
“So when do you fire up those grills?” Bill asked.
“Soon, very soon,” John Connor said. “All things in their time.”
“Yes, okay, I guess that makes sense,” Bill said.
Bill wandered around the yard listening to conversations. He nodded politely as he passed each group. When he got too close, people would stop talking and then smile and nod back to him. Every now and then he tried to join in on a conversation by asking them what they were talking about. But, usually the response from the group was that they were not really talking about anything important. Bill had started to become a little suspicious that something wasn’t quite right.
“Something’s not right,” Bill said quietly to Betty.
“Why, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“I’m not sure, there’s just a feeling like not everything is as it seems,” Bill said.
“Don’t be silly, look at the kids, they’re having a blast,” Betty said.
But, Bill couldn’t shake his feeling that something was amiss regarding the scene before him. Something just nagged at him, why had they stopped talking so quickly when he walked near them? Why didn’t they want to engage in conversation with him?
Then the grills began to light up, one after the other. The smell of charcoal wafted across the yard. Bill was hungry and was glad that the food would be ready soon.
Suddenly, Bill felt a huge pain in the back of his head. He looked at Betty who had her hand over her mouth in horror. He reached up and felt the blood on the back of his head. As it ran into his eyes, he looked over at his children still playing. John Connor then swung the axe again decapitating Bill.
The crowd closed in on Betty, slitting her throat as others took care of the kids. Then, this nice happy community, prepared, cooked, and ate the entire Zillo family. They saved the bones with a little meat on them to feed their dogs